3 things the @PCOOgov should GRILL @Facebook about

Now that the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) is mulling a protest over the "fact checking" partnership Facebook has entered into with Rappler and Vera Files, it is worth setting out some points that could be taken up with Facebook management come the time they find themselves in front of a Philippine Government inquiry.

Point 1: The introduction of "fact checkers" changes the nature of the business of operating social media platforms? "Fact checking" introduces application of editorial governance on FB content. What does that make FB now? Is it still just a platform? Or is it a media entity that falls within th regulatory framework applicable to news media organisations?

Point 2: Facebook enjoys an unfair advantage over other platforms because of its "free data" carriage over the biggest Philippine telcos and ISPs. It could possibly be regarded as a business practice that runs counter to fair trade practice on a level and competitive business environment.

Point 3: As a consequence, Filipinos are disinclined to consider opting out of the Facebook platform unless the field is levelled and Facebook is taken off "free data" privileges it currently enjoys with the Philippines' biggest telco and data carriers. This means that no real alternative social media platform exists outside of Facebook in the Philippines for now.

The above three points collectively describe a position Facebook finds itself in -- a dominant player in Philippine media but a position attained through potentially monopolistic practices.


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